Has the recession caused bars/restuarants to cut back on their beer selections?

This weekend I attended a conference at a resort in Scottsdale, AZ. I stopped into the main bar and I was surprised that they had no microbrews or any premium beers available.

I also noticed this during a trip to Las Vegas this summer. I know on the casino floor, you’re going to be drinking the main American beers, but at the bars and the restaurants, I had a hard time finding a better selection. I finally found Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

At many of the local bars, rather than seeing new taps with interesting new beers, I"m noticing a lot more “Coors Light Dollar night” type promos and not very many <Insert new microbrew> “Now available on tap here.”

Anyone else noticing this?

I haven’t made a scientific study of the matter. (Where could I get a grant?)

But I haven’t noticed any of my local places cutting back on the beer selection. Beaver’s is a nearby ice-house/gastropub, serving slightly upscale food & drink in a non-swanky setting; check out their Beer List here. (Click on the link, then click on Beer List; I know some people don’t like direct links to PDF files.) Still a pretty good selection–starting with local & regional brews.

Even a pricey beer is cheaper than most good wines or top-shelf cocktails. (Although some of Houston’s trendier spots have very good wine prices, compared to the standard restaurant mark-up.)

Eagerly awaiting reports from around the country! Or around the world.

The bar I frequent is pretty good about keeping the little guy on tap. The closer you get to Austin, the harder it seems for bars to ignore the growing Texas microbrews. Saint Arnold, Southern Star Brewing Co., and of course Shiner. Some out of state brands too, usually at least Fat Tire or 1554 from New Belgium, with others in bottles. Maybe this kind of thing is the rarity and Bud Lite is still king elsewhere though.

All’s well in DC. With places like The Brickskeller and RFD (same owner), no one is ever forced to drink Budweiser or Coors Light.

That’s quite an impressive list. I’m not familiar with the Real Ale Brewing Company, but I think I’d be temped to test out those pale ales.

My favorite local/regional Pale Ale is Elissa IPA from Houston’s own St Arnold Brewery but not on the current list at Beaver’s. They don’t pasteurize it, so I don’t know how well it travels.

An outstanding choice from that list is Buried Hatchet Stout from Southern Star Brewing Company. On this page. Twice as strong as Guinness & quite a mouthful. Rather pricey at 7.00 per can, but Kroger has 4-packs cheap.

So, even when times are hard, it’s possible to drink the best!

This is just my personal experience so it by no mean signifies a trend but the local bar/billiard parlor I used to go to weekly drastically cut back on the number of beers it sold. Since one of the attractions of the place was the wide variety of microbrews and imports it had available, I found the trend rather bothersome. They then went to featuring karaoke three nights a week and I stopped going there altogether.

The bars are most likely letting their stock run out. Then they are only replacing the in-demand stock. I would think banks cutting back on lines of credit is an issue with this. It used to be so easy to grab a line of credit for stock, not so anymore.

Craft beer experienced double digit sales growth over the past year while sales of macros have dropped. If anything, there is more craft beer now than there’s ever been.